On the first day of walking the Camino de Santiago, the end seems like an eternity. An impossible destination. The Cathedral in Santiago is A Million Steps away which takes 30-45 days to walk. Miraculously, time marches on and I arrived on October 12, 2012.
In grade school, high school, and college, 50 sounded like an old age. After last Saturday, it is now part of my past. I tried to rationalize the halfway point at 35. 70 should be in the bag. 40 multiplied by two sounds bigger, but still attainable. Today, I am formally acknowledging that the halfway point has likely passed. The veterans tell me that like a roll of toilet paper, the second half evaporates quickly.
In my family, the 1/2 century mark is celebrated with an all expense paid trip supported by the coolest mom in the world. We flew to San Diego last Thursday for five glorious nights. I could not imagine a better way to celebrate this milestone.
Many pilgrims told me that the Camino is really broken into three parts. The first third for the body, the second section for the mind, and the final for the soul. I felt a deepening richness of the experience during the final 200 miles through Galicia. The smallest moments, like sharing a cup of coffee con leche with a stranger or watching the sun break the horizon truly charmed my heart. It made me realize that the really big moments in life are actually an accumulation of all the small things that happen every day.
Instead of fighting crowds at Seaworld or tripping over shoppers at Horton Plaza, we decided to spend our free time in the simplest and cheapest arena. We walked on beaches.
On day two of this trip, we crossed the Coronado Bridge and found our feet crunching sand en-route to The Del Hotel. The ocean provided the music and the sky was an ever changing canvas. Day three took us to La Jolla Cove where we were greeted by pelicans and seals. Today’s time evaporated on Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs. With never ending luck, the waves were among the biggest of the year at 10-15 feet. A local TV crew was filming the violent water as the surfers discovered heaven. We easily walked five miles each day. Like the Camino, those footsteps will live in my heart forever.